Tag: Change

Parents Moving and Other Happy News

Sorry again for a week in between posts. It was one of those weeks that just flew by. I’ve been busy and happy and more than a little bit tired (the Olympics threw off my sleep schedule badly). Anyway, I’ve been having a lot of fun working on my youtube channel and movie blog. I am almost at 1,000 subscribers so if you aren’t subscribed help me out! 🙂 I have particularly enjoyed doing podcasts with friends. My friend Tom and I are almost finished reviewing all the Star Trek movies (that’s 13).  The last one will be this week.

I also posted my Disney Canon video of Hunchback of Notre Dame and my friend Christine felt really differently. We did a podcast and talked about our differences. I’m really proud of it and how it came out. It shows to the internet you can disagree without being disagreeable.

On non-youtube front there has been lots of stuff going on. The biggest news is my parents have officially moved to Utah. There was definitely a time when this would have annoyed me, having my parents so close. But now I’m actually really excited about it. It’s nice to have them close by so I can drop by and visit and have support when I need it. I’ve also enjoyed being close to Sam and Madeline my siblings who will now be living close to me. I went to movie screenings with both of them last week (went with Madeline to Kubo and the Two Strings– fabulous. And Sam to Morgan– not good). I’m really excited for the years to come and having all of that family support!

Other fun development is I’ve started entertaining a little bit more. I had people from my new singles ward who all live by me come over to watch the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics. I got Trader Joes appetizers from all over the world! I was having so much fun I didn’t even take a picture. 🙂

I also went to my blogger book club last week where we read the graphic novel One Dead Spy which was very charming history book for kids. Then yesterday I had 4 of my friends over for my smaller book club where we talked about The Martian. The ladies all seemed to like it even if it did have a little more bad language than they are used too.  It was so much fun because I had freeze dried ice cream and tang for the treats! Perfect for your astronauts!

So that’s what has been going on. I’m very busy at work creating a game day campaign and my channel and blogging takes up most of my free time but I love doing what I’m doing.

What do you guys have going on in your life? Anything exciting? Let me know. 🙂

Also if you have any ideas for a regular series I could do on this blog let me know. I was doing the Teaser Tuesday book reviews but they didn’t seem to get much attention, so I stopped.  I could review books or music. Something simple I could do each week.

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How I Am Doing

People often start out a greeting with the innocuous question- “How are you doing?”.  To which the expected reply is ‘I’m fine’.   Since this is my blog and I can write what I wish I’m going to give the honest answer of How I am doing.

I am exhausted.  Feel like I got beat up in a fight.  I wish I could be one of those people that do long shifts, have crazy personal life and never get a break.  I can do it for about 2 months and then I crash.  I feel like I haven’t had a chance to rest since Christmas.  Granted I’ve had some great experiences like my party or the swim meet Saturday but I still feel super tired and worn out.

I am thrilled.  I love my house. I love my tenants.  I love decorating my house and learning what I like and don’t like.  Its been really fun and satisfying.

I am sore.  My pain in my rib cage has been bad lately.  It’s always there and to an extent I’ve grown accustomed to it but lately its been bad. I can’t wear a bra it hurts so bad.  Sigh…I also pulled a muscle in my hip on Monday so I’m walking like an old woman hunched over.

I am worried.  My Grandma W has been sent back to the ER with her heart problems. I know she’s an old woman but this has all come out of the blue for me.  Makes me feel bad for missing Christmas this year.  I hope she knows how much I love her.

I am overwhelmed.  New calling with lots of responsibilities has been overwhelming. Trying to learn everyone’s names and get things right is hard. Plus, just getting everything settled, unpacked and finished has been hard. Exciting but hard.

I am grateful.  I know how privileged I am on so many levels.  Grateful to have my house and its comforts but also grateful for my friends and the outpouring of love I’ve felt lately.  Really I couldn’t be more grateful.

I am loved.  I’ve often wondered what good deed I did in the pre-life to deserve such love. My party, the swim meet, my move- in all of it I was overwhelmed by how many people loved me. I hope I never take them for granted.  I love my friends!

I am inspired.  Inspired to lose the 15 lbs I gained during this moving process.  Inspired to get back in the water.  Inspired to get ready for SLC swim in June. Getting in better shape is the goal and weight loss will hopefully be a side benefit.

I am anxious.  Let’s be honest- I’m always a little bit anxious.  Its a lot of change in a short period of time and more to come in May with work but all changes for the best.

I am hopeful.  The flip side of anxious is hopeful.  I feel proud of all I have accomplished (even if it wasn’t in the most glamorous of fashion) and look forward to the future.  I’m hopeful for my job, house, tenants, friendships and maybe even dating every now and then. That’d be nice. 🙂

I am happy. I really am.  Tired but happy which perhaps is the best kind of happiness.

So today I have a few hours off to rejuvenate myself.  What to do with a few precious hours?  I’ll start by catching up on my book club book and taking some big deep breaths.  Then maybe I will actually cook myself a real meal.  How are you doing?

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Funny Glimpse into the Past

Here I am with the floppy disk!

Change

Change the poem, change the line,
change the meaning, change the rhyme,
change the outcome change the plan,
change the mood, change the man.

Change your looks, change your smile,
change your going, stay awhile,
change your past, change your time,
change your future, stay be mine.

william greer

Today I was filling up my new bookcase (which despite purchasing 4 bags of books from DI leaves my other bookcases markedly sparse!).  While personally oogling over each and every book- even the ones from my childhood such as the boxcar children and babysitters club- I started looking at my old books from college.  This is always a sentimental trap for me because I look at my college experience as the most defining one of my life.  My mission was the most difficult, college was the most defining.  I know it is such a cliche but I really did find my voice as a young political philosophy student.  All of the sudden I had the words to say what I had been feeling my entire life.  I can recall the first moment of reading Plato (something most would shutter at) as one of the most liberating of my life.  Particularly his teaching on forms- the belief that eternal forms have always existed.  He uses the example of a chair. We know something is a chair because it uses the form of a chair.  Abstract concepts are the same way.  We know what justice is because it fits the form of justice.  There were so many times in my life when I had been trying in vain to describe my heart and to know that this struggle with words was eternal was an ah ha moment if there ever was one!  Since then I have had many ah ha moments but none came with such fluidity as they did in college. Suddenly reading became easy and fun, writing (and even grammar) became a passion and learning new concepts an adrenhaline rush.  This love of learning has never left me and I believe is now one of the distinctive parts of my personality.

Anyway, as I was reminiscing with each old book I came across a book from my Marriage and Family course (ironic that I took 3 such courses I know!) and from inside the book fell out my old floppy drive from college!  What a blast from the past that was.  I knew it was the floppy I relied on because it was black with a green and white label.  I used to put everything on that floppy (everything that would fit that is!).  At the time it seemed more than sufficient for my back up and storage needs.  Looking at it now it has 1.44 mb. To put things in perspective one song on Itunes has 5 mb.  My current ipod has 160 GB.  The flash drive I carry on my key chain has 4 GB and my back up capabilities are over 1 terabyte.  This means that in my personal back up system I have over a million floppy drives! Amazing.

What am I getting with all those bytes- tons of added photos, videos and software space, back up for many projects, and perhaps most importantly thousands of downloaded songs and cds at my disposal. With all that I am only using about 1/3rd of my storage capacity.  It is hard to imagine filling it up but I am sure someday I will.  Perhaps someday I will be looking at my loud noisy back up hard drive and think it is so old fashioned- just as I am with the floppy drive.

That said- I wonder if my life really is any better?  Back then I still had a laptop with music files, software and was completely satisfied.  In fact, I would love to be able to look at this floppy and see what kinds of projects I was working on and items I thought important enough to save.  Most of it is probably papers that I put on the floppy to print at the SWKT computer lab (my printer was notoriously fickle- something that doesn’t seem to have changed much with ink jets!)

Do you all ever have moments like that where a simple item will start you down the reminiscing trail and lead to questions, to pondering?  Happens to me all the time.  Please share!  I haven’t had a comment in a while.  Not since my President Obama post and let’s be honest you guys don’t want me doing political posts all the time do you!!  (Btw, I’ve lost 8 lbs so far on my new fitness regiment but that’s for another entry!).  Thanks for reading.

Comfort

Tonight my mood while writing this post can be summed up in one word- comfort.  Why is that you might ask? Well, there are a number of reasons.  First, I am watching one of my all-time favorite movies, You’ve Got Mail.  My regular readers will not be surprised by this- as it is the one of only two movies I have written entire posts on (See Open to Change).   It’s interesting because I wrote the post in May of last year when my life was going through many changes.  Now my life is once again changing and wouldn’t you know I turn to the same movie to provide escapism and comfort.  I know it is predictable and somewhat obvious, but I don’t care.  It makes me laugh, has lots to say about modern-day work,  captures my love of books and New York City,  and realizes  my fantasy of a romantic pen pal.  Plus, its themes of modernity and change are ones I continue to come back to again and again.  I will not bore you by re-posting my favorite quotes from the movie.  You can look at my original post for that.  Suffice it to say, it is a comfort movie in a time of change.  Do any of you have movies you watch repeatedly?  One of these days I am going to do a posting on my favorite movies.  I have started one several times but it is difficult to pare it down to a manageable list.

The second comforting aspect of tonight is the food I made.  I happened to have the ingredients to make one of my family’s favorite items- German potato salad.  If any of you haven’t enjoyed this dish, it is made with potatoes, bacon, vinegar, sugar, flour, celery seed, salt and onion.  It is one of those dishes that pulls off the delicious sweet/salty combination.  I have been trying to eat healthier in the last few weeks (lost 10 lbs in 5 weeks!) , so perhaps this choice was a bit of an indulgence but as a main course for dinner it wasn’t too bad.  We have a tradition in our family of eating a  German meal on Christmas Eve.  It sounds odd but it is delicious.  The main course is bratwurst sandwiches cooked on the griddle with rye bread, gooey swish cheese and my mom’s special sauerkraut.  Most people turn their noses up at sauerkraut but that is because they  haven’t tried my mom’s.  It is delicious.  She takes the sauerkraut, rinses it, and then boils it in fresh apple cider for hours until it is sweet/salty yummy!  It has won over even the most ardent sauerkraut haters.  As a side for the  meal we also have german potato salad.  I have tried to recreate the other aspects of the Christmas Eve meal but to no avail.  The two times I tried the sauerkraut it  didn’t turn out and the sandwiches are nothing without it.  The german potato salad I have succeeded in making, so I decided to tackle it tonight. It was delicious and comforting.

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The third comforting aspect of tonight is the satisfaction of hard work.  Is there anything better or more comforting than relaxing after working really hard? Ever since I got home from Hawaii I have felt a bit like  a chicken with its head cut off- running around frantically, working hard and not knowing what was happening next.  I can now see things coming into place but it’s been a bit overwhelming.  As with any change there is the fear of the unknown, the fear of being unhappy, the fear of picking the wrong path.  It has been hard and I think I’ve done a pretty good job keeping it all together.  Maybe part of it is I’ve been so busy there hasn’t been much time for moping around the house or worrying.  There were about 2 weeks when I allowed myself to stress out about the future, but now I am excited about the opportunities that are coming.  As I mentioned in my last post I have gone from worrying whether I had one job to now having the potential for four- vacation rentals, sales tax, Grabber events, and managing other people’s vacation rentals.  I have had to put the real estate school on the back burner for August but that will start up in September, which I am excited about (my renting 2 of the Suncrest houses as long-term rentals  should be a good sign for my future as a property manager!).  This week in particular I have been working all hours on the vacation rentals, the long-term rentals, getting trained on sales tax, working on Grabber events and more. Yesterday I was up at the houses from the morning until late in the afternoon working and forgot to drink enough water or eat lunch. Eventually I had to lie down because I started feeling faint.  I also had phone calls all day- by 2 pm I had received 25 incoming calls! It was exhausting.  Today I knew I needed to take a break from it all and that is what I have done.  I had my voice lesson this morning, which is always wonderful.  Then I came home worked on my computer for the afternoon, made dinner and am watching the movie.  It feels great to just enjoy my life!

The only thing that would make today more comforting is if I wasn’t alone.  However, maybe wishing for someone to watch You’ve Got Mail and eat german potato salad with is wishing for too much! Even if a man is unrealistic, it would be the icing on the cake to have a girlfriend or two with me.  There are so many who are far away, and I miss greatly- Melissa, Raelene, Emily and Stefanie to name a few.  I can also imagine this night with my sisters- all of us laughing and eating together.  Still, they are all only a phone call away, and they all love me.  As much as I would love their company, the knowledge of their love builds me and provides comfort.   I know whatever career path or life choice I make my friends and family will support and encourage me.  One of my most frequent prayers throughout my life has been one of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for all the love He has given me.

A couple of posts ago I wrote about needing increased faith for the months ahead.  It may have sounded trite or simplistic to some, but I don’t care.  Having faith means believing in something that is not seen.  At that moment I could not see what was in store for me.  I still have many unknowns but already I have seen new opportunities open- chances that will help me be a better, more interesting person.  This is perhaps the most comforting part about tonight- that I know everything will be ok.  My life is watched over.  As long as I work hard, believe in myself and trust in God then everything will turn out for the best.  This is a hard thing to believe when life is in chaos but it’s true.

Thank you for all your support during this crazy time.  Thank you for the comfort.

Update on Things

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It truly is amazing what can happen in a few days.   Let me quickly update all of you.   It is easier to explain things in categories:

Work- the vacation rentals- Things are still a little unsure with the rentals right now.  We are going to present our case before the board of directors at the end of August, and we will see if we can continue.  If not we will rent the homes as long term rentals.   In fact, we have already found a long term renter for our home the Benji (I found a renter in under 3 weeks- not bad hah!).  At the same time we are pleading our case we will show the other two homes to interested parties and if the right offer comes we will take it. Right now we are getting a lot of interest so things are looking good.  In the meantime I still have people coming and going throughout the end of the Summer and must keep the landscaping and other maintenance up to par (my dad and I  want the homes to be the best in the neighborhood both for our guests and to impress the HOA).

Work- other opportunities- so at the same time the vacation rentals is or may be winding down I have several new opportunities.   First of all, I am going to continue to run events for Grabber handwarmers.  This is something I did last year where we set up a booth at local Winter sport venues and festivals to give out free product. It is a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people.  Plus, it is outside and I am all about work that doesn’t keep me at a desk all day (although the cold weather is no fun!).

In addition to the events, I am going to be doing sales tax entries for Grabber.  This should be easy and a nice steady stream of income that I can still do mostly from my home.  It’s not hard- just a bunch of little steps that have to be kept track of.  I will go in and get training soon.

The most exciting new opportunity for me is I have a new client for property management.  It is a long story but there is a company I have been working with for about 2 months with- giving them the vacation rental referrals we could not fill.  I met up with him last month, and he was very impressed with my occupancy rate and what I had done with nothing more than excel and a google calendar (they have a fancy vacation rental software- oh la la!).  Like I said, I have been giving them our referrals and finally yesterday one of them came through and made a reservation, so I sent the president of the company an email that said “Since we have successfully given you a lead I think it is time to talk
about a commission? Rachel.”.

He emailed me back saying “It sounds like its time to pay Rachel.  Congrats……..the way I see it is when we convert a lead from you, rachel gets paid 10 percent.  I’d also  like to talk to you about more than just commissions on leads.  I think u could really help us internally.  Let’s talk tomorrow.”!

Now I not only get 10% ($249 nt for a week=$1743= $174.30 for me!) but I am also going to be able to do regular work for his rentals.  I am convinced I can increase his occupancy rate.  Afterall, I have our homes the Sammy and the Anna full an average of 24 days a month!  Hard to get better than that.

It’s a great opportunity, and I am SO EXCITED!

As you can tell I have a lot going on with work- almost to the point of being a little overwhelming- but mostly exciting.  It’s the next chapter in my life and it will allow me to continue to be self-employed, which is more important than anything else.  I shutter at the thought of returning to a full-time desk job.  It’s not for me.

Moving on to another exciting development:

School-  I have signed up to get my real estate license.  It is through Stringham Real Estate Schools in Murray, Ut.   To get the license you have to take around 50 classess that are kind of like seminars (no home work, just come to class and take a quiz after).  I can do the classes either online or at the ground campus, and I can do up to 4 a day.   Some people finish in as short as 6 weeks, others take a couple of months.  Amazingly enough, the whole course is only $450 with a $14 book fee and later test/license fees).  In the world of education it is a bargain.  Getting this license will make it easier for me to market my property management skills to others.  Legally I should have it for what I am currently doing but since it has been with my dad I haven’t bothered.  Now is the perfect opportunity to get this done.  I know some people hate school, but I actually enjoy it.  I may not like every class, but I like the general process of learning new things.  I was starting to feel the itch to go back to school and this fits perfectly.  I am thrilled.

While I am busy with work and school I am also trying to enjoy my life.  Lately I have had a great time with old and new friends.  Tomorrow is book club, which I am always excited about.  Plus, I have my calling in church, my community service goal and the ongoing fitness challenge I mentioned a few entries ago (lost 9 lbs so far!).   Not to mention I have this blog I want to keep up (nearly 100 posts in just over a year).

For all of you Latter-day Saint women- my friends and I are doing something creative you might find interesting.  For visiting teaching  (a church program where we make calls on each other, to make sure we are doing well in all aspects of our life) this month we are gathering together at my apartment for a big dinner.  I am inviting my girls, they are inviting their girls and so on. As a group we will teach the lesson, socialize and make sure everyone is doing ok.  If this works I intend to do it many if not all months.   Feel free to steal my idea!  The dinner is this Wednesday, so I will let you know how it goes in a later post.

I recognize this was a very random post, but I wanted to let everyone know how things are going.  It has been a wild nearly 2 months since I returned from Hawaii, especially with work.  I was pretty stressed out there for a while; however, t just as many of you reassured me things have turned out for the best, and I am looking forward to the future.  It is going to be busy but productive and exciting!  Thanks for all your support and I will keep the blog posted on all the latest developments.

An Inspirational Video- America’s Got Talent

I know that shows like America’s Got Talent are built to tug at your heart strings, but in this case it worked.  What a beautiful voice and a hidden talent.  I have been on cruises before and the talent is a joke.  To think they passed up on this star.  It inspires me to keep on singing.  Think how much potential there is in all of us if we would just encourage one another, and believe in ourselves.  Amazing!

So often in life it feels like the good guy’s don’t ever get a fair shake- that only those with enough money or pizazz are able to make a difference.  Here is an example of a quiet, sincere woman who never gave up on herself, who never stopped trying.  In a world that rarely has room for the humble voice, that is inspiring!

Will write more later but I wanted to share this with all of you.  It made me cry!  Life is good for the moment.  I don’t know what exactly changed but I feel at peace with things.  I have done what I can and now I just have to let the situation develop.  That’s all I can do- work hard and pray. Thanks for all of your continuing support!

What’s Going On

Hello blogging community.  It has been a few days since I last posted.  This is due partly to my sister Anna’s visit but mostly to the recent chaos that is my life.  Let me explain.

Ever since I got back from Hawaii there has been one stressful crisis after another.  I don’t want to get into it but do you ever feel that you are having a losing streak?  It’s like everything I try fizzles.  The yards haven’t been good enough, the houses not well enough maintained, the tenants have been difficult, I’ve made some stupid mistakes, tenants have lied to my face, I’ve had squabbles with people, gotten my feelings hurt, and the home owner’s association is now threatening to make us stop our vacation rental business.  My dad has taken the brunt of all of this and for that I feel even worse because the last thing he needed was a time-eating legal process.

The other thing that makes me sad is my best friend is moving to California to start law school.  I will miss Melissa Noyes a lot.  She has been a solid support for me over the last 3 years and on my mission.  I appreciate her optimism and the way she makes me forget my troubles.  The thing I love the most about her is she is not a worrier like I am.  In a very non-cheesy way when I am with Melissa I forget my problems and have fun. I will miss our near-weekly dinners at Wingers (although my waistline won’t!) and the barrage of stupid romantic comedies we saw together.  With Melissa’s departure I will have more friends outside of Utah than in.  While I am able to keep in touch with these friends and they are SO important in my life, I do miss having the nearby interaction.  I am grateful for all my friends and all the support they continually give me.

For the moment, it looks like I may not be working in September and October on the rentals.  I will have Grabber work, which should be a enough to live off of.  Plus, I will be starting a real estate broker class that will keep my busy.  In addition, there are other potential business opportunities that could also develop. Anyway, it has just been a lot to deal with in basically a months time- particularly when you think I got a nasty sinus infection, a family reunion, and had other commitments as well.

I am trying my best to be calm and take each day as they come.  Almost all of the things that stress me out right now I can’t control, so I know I shouldn’t worry about them.  I also know everything will be Ok.  I’ve just never been a big one for change and that is particularly true when something that has made me so happy (my job over the last year) is changing.  Stepping into the unknown is scary and uncertain, but I also have to remember that it is exciting and full of potential.

I am trying my best to remember the Lord’s hand in all things and that without change I will never grow.  Already this situation has caused me to pray more fervently than I was before.  Please include me in your prayers.  I know my problems may seem small but the power of friends at prayer is strong.  If anything it will help me be strong.

In the end, I just have to increase my faith. I like to control things- to set a plan and micromanage them until they are accomplished.  Now I am in a situation where that control is impossible.  I must have faith.  My Heavenly Father brought me to this job, and He will lead me to my next assignment.  I don’t think I have ever felt the spirit more strongly than when I quit my old accounting job.   Then I spent 6 months in the unknown, interviewing for job after job, with nothing coming from my hard work.  Then this opportunity to manage vacation rentals came and it has been awesome, difficult in some ways but mostly awesome.  Hopefully things will remain the same, but I just need to believe in His plan for me, be creative, and work hard. Having faith in the unknown can be the hardest thing to do but isn’t that the definition of faith?

I don’t want to sound melodramatic.  I know others face far more stressful and devastating situations.  This is merely an unknown career change.  Nevertheless, it is difficult in its own way for me.  Again, thank you for your thoughts, support and prayers.  I will keep the blog posted on what happens.

Here’s a poem about faith I like by Emily Dickinson.

My Faith is larger than the Hills
My Faith is larger than the Hills —
So when the Hills decay —
My Faith must take the Purple Wheel
To show the Sun the way —

‘Tis first He steps upon the Vane —
And then — upon the Hill —
And then abroad the World He go
To do His Golden Will —

And if His Yellow feet should miss —
The Bird would not arise —
The Flowers would slumber on their Stems —
No Bells have Paradise —

How dare I, therefore, stint a faith
On which so vast depends —
Lest Firmament should fail for me —
The Rivet in the Bands

jesus